Turkey’s stance on Cyprus an EU obstacle

1 min read

Turkey’s harsh approach to the Cyprus question remains one of the main stumbling blocks between Brussels and Ankara, an EU official said.

The EU official commented to the Cyprus News Agency ahead of Thursday’s Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels, which includes EU-Turkey relations.

Relations with Turkey will be the subject of the Foreign Ministers’ working lunch.

The other main subjects on the summit’s agenda will be the latest developments regarding the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the foreign policy aspect of economic security.

The Foreign Ministers will also speak with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken via teleconference.

On Turkey, the EU official said that after Tayyip Erdogan’s re-election and the appointment of a new government, “this is the moment to discuss one of the most important relationships of the EU, with one of its largest neighbours, as well as a candidate for accession”.

Josep Borrell – the EU foreign policy chief — recently met Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan in Indonesia.

The official said the two had a substantive review of all issues related to the EU and Turkey, including the Eastern Mediterranean, Syria and Libya, and internal affairs.

He said “one of the main points of disagreement” is Turkey’s approach to the Cyprus issue, with Borrell making it clear that the only possible way out for the EU is a solution based on a bizonal bicommunal federation.

“Cyprus will be on the Foreign Ministers’ agenda, and the latest European Council conclusions include important references on Cyprus that will guide the next steps.”

Turkey has signalled it is willing to ease its stance of a two-state solution on Cyprus if its EU accession path is smoothed over.